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Address by the Ambassador of Italy, Gianluigi Benedetti on the occasion of the Seminar “I ACT: Youth and Climate Change 4 a more sustainable era” Italy&IRENA Action for Climate – Tokyo Chapter (Tokyo, 28 September 2023)

Mr. YARIMIZU, Director-General for Environmental Policy at the Minister of Environment of Japan, Mr. ENOKI, Co-Chair of the Taskforce on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dear students and guests, good morning and welcome to the Embassy of Italy.


I am particularly glad to open and host today this seminar titled “I ACT: Youth and Climate Change 4 a more sustainable era”, Italy&IRENA Action for Climate – Tokyo Chapter.


As the title suggests, this initiative is part of a broader project launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy and realized in collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency. The project, named “I ACT – Italy&IRENA Action for Climate Toolkit” aims at providing young people with the tools needed to be actively included in the fight against climate change and – by doing so – gaining their full commitment for a more sustainable world.


Is it an ambitious goal? Yes. But Italy strongly believes in the urgency of raising a major awareness about climate change consequences as well as in the need to support a youth-led action as a key to concretely affect energy transition and policies towards sustainability.


The “I ACT” program has been created in order to help reaching these achievements and many students have been already met and trained all around the world. Regarding Japan, allow me to mention and thank Ms. Ranjatoson – I ACT student from the Fukuoka University – and the representatives of the Students Association that will take part in the seminar today. Thanks for all your efforts, today and in your everyday mission.


Italy attaches the greatest importance to the role that young people play in the fight against climate change and, for this reason, since 2021 Italy is co-leading the Youth4Climate initiative with the United Nations Development Programme.


Youth4Climate wishes to support and foster the activities carried out by youth for a more sustainable environment. It does it by promoting partnerships and networking occasions, by organizing international events – the next one will take place in Roma next October – and by bringing together resources and tools through the Youth4Climate engagement platform, a platform that hosts about 7.000 members.


Most of them are students from all over the world, but high-level representatives from international organizations, from the scientific community and from the private sector are also active members.


To say it shortly Youth4Climate is an opportunity to be part of a global project and be effectively involved in international events and initiatives. I therefore invite all of you to sign in and take advantage of the opportunities, the experiences, and the resources offered by this global virtual space.


Energy transition, renewable energies and the need to move forward in our path to 2030 and 2050 sustainable development goals are priorities for both our countries. In the light of this, I am pleased to announce that for the first time, Italy will give its contribution to the Green Transformation Week, an intensive program of international conferences related to energy and environment organized by the Japanese Government. I am indeed very pleased to participate on behalf of the Minister of Environment of Italy in the Conference on de-carbonization to be held on October 2.


Last, but not least, I sincerely want to thank the Ministry of Environment of Japan for its support to this initiative and, in particular, a dear friend of Italy – the Minister of Environment, Shintaro ITO – for the video-massage that will shortly be displayed. Thank you Minister Ito.


I wish all of you to learn something new today, to continue working with enthusiasm for a “more sustainable era” and to spread the knowledge you will acquire in your schools and Universities, in your families and with your friends.


Arigatou Gozaimasu.